When I get sad or discouraged, I like to read Psalm 42. I find it to be a great example of scripture that is easy to resonate with. It also reminds me to continue to look to God.
From the very first verse, I already feel as if I’m the one speaking: “As the deer longs for streams of water, so I long for you, O God”. In these moments, I always long to be in the presence of God, to be overwhelmed by His warm light. I always like to imagine receiving a consoling hug from Jesus. Which goes into verse 2, “I thirst for God, the living God. When can I go and stand before him?”
Then verse 4 also really hits home, because usually when I’m sad or discouraged, I think back on when last I enjoyed myself. I think back on the last time I didn’t feel this way and try to figure out what changed. At which point I ask myself verse 5: “why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again, my Savior and my God!"
Then sometimes, I may go through verse 9 where I question everything, including God. I’m constantly asking why, why, why? But then, I go back to verse 8: “but each day, the Lord pours his unfailing love upon me, and through each night I sing his songs, praying to God who gives me life”. I am reminded that I should keep praying, and seeking God, because he knows my heart. I’ve learned to play worship music during these times, instead of songs that help me to wallow in my sorrows. It’s not all about me and when I remember this, I can focus on bigger things.
Going through the valleys sometimes can be hard, but I like to hold on to Psalm 42 as a reminder that God is with me through it all. It’s okay to be sad and feel down, but it’s not okay to forget God because of it. God gave us emotions, and we are free to experience them. However, we need to be careful about how we express them. We should be able to honor God in and through all things.